Saturday, August 11, 2018

Mixtape 57 - Marijannah

Here is the 57th instalment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring an interview with Rasyid Juraimi of Singaporean stoner rockers Marijannah.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Mixtape 56 - Potion

Here is the 56th instalment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring an interview with Sydney psychedelic metal band Potion.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Mixtape 55 - Shatter Brain

Here is the 55th instalment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring an interview with Ryan Quarrington, Matthew DeSisto, and Pat Callaghan of Adelaide metal band Shatter Brain.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

an interview with New Old Skull

I'm late to most things, but I was several decades late in discovering seminal noise rock band Live Skull. The band helped define the No Wave style that emerged from NY's Lower East Side, providing an arty, cerebral alternative to the NYHC sound that was taking shape at the same time. Recently, the band's members reunited in the form of New Old SkullI reached out to the band to find out more about this segment of music history that passed me by; guitarist/vocalist Mark C. was extremely generous with his time in answering my questions.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Bandcamp Picks - Daggra, Scathed, Closet Witch, Psychoneurosis/Agathocles

Unlike the adjacent death and black metal scenes, grindcore never went through a regressive "old school" phase, and the genre's most retro adherents sit comfortably side by side with its most adventurous. Texans Daggra find a middle ground between both, and the results are phenomenal. Their second album Setsuna brings to mind the hook-heavy, musically omnivorous approach of Nineties Napalm Death and Brutal Truth, but never strays too far from the template laid down by grind's founding fathers. One of the best grindcore albums I've heard in 2018. [$6.66]

Dark crust and grindcore go together like chocolate and peanut butter for Milwaukee's Scathed. On Already Dead, the bleak sound of Tragedy is combined with short bursts of caveman speed. The result is an album that has as many blastbeats as d-beats, and shows that the way forward for this flavour of hardcore is not necessarily slower or more melodic. [ $7]

The shadow of a particular Jane Doe lies over Iowa's Closet Witch. The chaotic style, twangy riffs and sudden tempo changes on their eponymous debut bear the unmistakable influence of Kurt Ballou, though Mollie Piatetsky's shrieks are in a bruxism-inducing class of their own. There are no shortage of bands emulating Converge, but if the Boston crew do ever slow down, they can rest easy knowing they have a suitable understudy right here. [$7]

Polish veterans Psychoneurosis got in touch with me about being reviewed, and my morning commute wouldn't have been as manic if they hadn't. On their Grind Resurrection split with Agathocles, they contribute 6 furious, socially conscious death grind tracks with a touch of that Vaderiffic Polish sound and no shortage of cowbell. Blistering, head spinning fun. [$3]

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Mixtape 54 - Ratos de Porão

Here is the 54th installment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring an interview with Boka and Jão of Brazilian hardcore legends Ratos de Porão.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Bandcamp Picks - Abscess, Maggot Casket, Gruesome, Oxygen Destroyer

I never checked out Abscess while they were active - which, as a new reissue from Horror Pain Gore Death makes clear, was a severe oversight. On Horrorhammer, the visceral simplicity of Autopsy was given a gutterpunk shot in the arm, somehow upping the filth quota of Reifert's previous band. It's nothing short of phenomenal, and I like to think Reifert answered his many Swedish emulators with a garage-raucous death'n'roll of his own. [$6.66; HPGD has made a limited edition vinyl version available for $25.]

It would be easy to dismiss Kentucky's Maggot Casket as another old school revival bandwagon-hopper, but there's more than meets the eye. Their eponymous debut contains enough unexpected tempo changes and melodic twists in its tweaking of classic death metal that it approaches the avant/prog approach of early Finnish death metal. It's too early to tell, but this could be the next Demilich or Convulse in the making. [$6.66]

Any question as to how committed Gruesome are to their gimmick should be answered by their third full-length. From the cover art to Matt Harvey's astonishingly accurate Schuldiner impression, Twisted Prayers is a loving tribute to Death's own third album Spiritual Healing, wherein Evil Chuck reshaped the monster he created into a more thoughtful musical creature - thereby setting the table for the progressive and technical death metal we know today. Schuldiner's disciples have grown exponentially since his passing, but Gruesome are the most committed to bring Death to life. [$10]

Metalfest meets Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con with Seattle's kaijuphiliac death-thrashers Oxygen Destroyer. Bestial Manifestations of Malevolence and Death draws inspiration from classic Godzilla films as well as the equally monstrous sound of early Sepultura and Vader, resulting in an album that smokes all other old school pretenders in its atomic fury. A split with fellow B-movie fiends VHS has recently been announced, so grab the popcorn and prepare for Toho destruction. [$6]

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Mixtape 53 - Protomartyr

Here is the 53rd installment of the Dreams of Consciousness podcast, featuring an interview with Joe Casey of Detroit-based post-punk band Protomartyr.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Bandcamp Picks - Burial In The Sky, Dischordia, Hatred Reigns, Pestilent Reign

Pennsylvania's Burial In The Sky join Cynic and Inanimate Existence in my "yoga metal" circle. Like kombucha brewed with psilocybin, Creato et Hominus infuses the band's cerebral and technical approach with psychedelia in the form of moog keyboards, saxophone, and mandolin parts. Not since Dan Swanö in his prime has death metal drawn so deeply or boldy from the well of Seventies' prog. [$7.99]

As the ranks of bands emulating Immolation and Deathspell Omega proliferated, Oklahoma's Dischordia spent almost a decade refining their own style of progressive death metal. Their two song Binge/Purge EP takes the listener on a 20 minute voyage through convoluted riffs and spastic mathcore, resulting in a car crash of technical mastery and punishing dissonance. Symphonies of motion sickness. [$5]

There's a bright light on the death metal horizon in the form of Hatred Reigns. Like fellow up-and-comers Abnormality and Hate Storm Annihilation, their three song Realm: I - AFFLICTION draws from the blast-centric work of Morbid Angel, Suffocation and Cryptopsy without being overly beholden to it. Give them the production their brutality deserves and they'll be unstoppable. [€7]

I doubt anyone loves Misery Index as much as Stuttgart's Pestilent Reign - not even this nerd. While Pyres never quite rises to furious speed of their heroes, it does add an agreeable blackened sheen to the band's fretburning deathgrind (as well as a less agreeable Alex Jones clip). Heirs to nose-bleedery. [€7]

Sunday, June 17, 2018

an interview with Advent of Bedlam

I'm a sucker for death metal from overlooked scenes. So when Horror Pain Gore Death Productions announced the signing of Costa Rica's Advent of Bedlam, I couldn't wait to hear them. Their latest release Human Portal Phenomenon is an antidote to the run of the mill albums that have been clogging up my inbox lately, combining dissonance with speed and sombre melodies in a way that I haven't quite heard before. Eager to delve deeper into the band and their scene, I reached out to find out more. Guitarist Max Gutierrez was kind enough to answer my questions.